"Let Food be Thy Medicine"

As a personal chef, winter time to me means heartier dishes, full-bodied flavors, and lots of great soup recipes that I get to try out. Unfortunately, amidst the holiday cheer and snow is the common cold or worse, the dreaded flu. As a professional who works in people’s homes, it is important to take care of myself, to remain healthy, and most importantly, not get any of my clients sick. I am a firm believer in using herbs and food to heal our bodies whenever possible. It is especially easy in New York where we have access to plenty of health food stores and a wide variety of  produce.


A couple of months ago while cooking for a client, I learned of their nanny’s legendary tea and asked how she made it. This four-ingredient tea is easy to make and fantastic tasting in addition to all of the health benefits associated with it. Multiple families swear by its healing properties and ability to recover from sickness and I am now one of them! The apple gives sweetness to the tea and provides antioxidants while the ginger gives a good, spicy flavor that naturally boosts the immune system. The cinnamon is anti-viral and anti-microbial while fresh lemons are rich in Vitamin C.


Make this tea in a big batch and serve hot or cold. I drink it as is, but feel free to add honey for sweetness (especially if you want your kids to drink it.) Not to mention that it makes your home smell wonderful. Enjoy!


Fresh ginger, skin-on and cut into big chunks (A medium-sized piece will do)

3 apples, skin-on and cut into wedges (remove seeds and core)

2 lemons, sliced

3 cinnamon sticks

15 cups of water

Place all ingredients in large pot and simmer on stove for 45 minutes. Remove from heat, discard cinnamon sticks and serve warm.